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ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine 04.23.18

ESPN The Magazine is for the NEXT generation of sports fans who want to stay on top of the athletes, teams, topics and upcoming events in their own sports world. The Magazine celebrates not only sports, but the cultures and lifestyles that are an integral part of them - all with ESPN's unique personality and authority.

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3 min.
dual threat

Going into my interview with Josh, the draft-whisperer machine had me bracing to meet a smug, combative a-hole. I emerged thinking that Josh isn’t just NEXT—he may very well be first: the first bold, informed voice to helm the top position in America’s top sport. Not for nothing, he’s also an affable dude and chill as hell. The night prior, he capped his strong pro day outing with a low-key dinner at the campus-adjacent California Pizza Kitchen before eschewing a swanky Westwood hotel room for a college pal’s sofa. Or maybe he’s just cheap? When asked what he’d buy with his first NFL paycheck, he said, “Nothing. One of the great wonders of the world is compound interest.” MORE ON PAGE 32 Spend a few hours with Rosen and he’ll give…

4 min.
the truth

From Robinson to Ali, the power of player activism has always been rooted in its moral imperative. The recent wave has been no different, motivated by moments like in August 2014, when Ferguson police shot Michael Brown dead and left his body on the street, baking in the summer heat for hours. Or when police choked Eric Garner to death that same summer, or killed Philando Castile and Terence Crutcher in 2016. People filled the streets to protest the violence. Players like Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid joined them in on-field protests. The sports world did its best to kill the protests, aided by a media that largely refused to accept black grievance and by the willful ignorance of owners and fans who never believed this part of America was a…

17 min.
deep in the rough

Sometimes Lydia Ko likes to imagine the future. More specifically, her professional future. She thinks about what kind of career she’ll have, what she hopes to accomplish, what dreams she’ll chase in her 30s. She could see herself in psychology, a subject she’s been studying for two years. Or maybe criminology. She thinks she’d be good at solving mysteries. Interior design sounds appealing. Maybe even architecture. She looks giddy as she describes the empty canvas in front of her. ¶ Almost none of her plans for 10 years from now involve the game of golf. ¶ “I’ll probably play some odd golf here or there, maybe play for $100 or something with a friend,” Ko says. It’s strange—at first—to hear Ko talk like this. We’re having dinner at The Bridge, one…

6 min.
the king meets the process

INT. QUICKEN LOANS ARENA, JUNE 2018 FADE IN on Golden State and its fans going NUTS as downtrodden Clevelanders file out. The Warriors just beat the Cavaliers to win the 2018 Finals. We find LeBRON JAMES being interviewed by JEFF VAN GUNDY. VAN GUNDY LeBron, tough series. Swept in four games. LEBRON We gave ourselves a chance to win tonight, didn’t put them away. VAN GUNDY You lost 148-60. LEBRON There were moments where it could’ve gone either way. VAN GUNDY They let a fan play in the fourth quarter. He was last seen with J.R. Smith in the visitors locker room. HARD CUT to J.R. AND FAN SHIRTLESS in Golden State’s locker room, SPRAYING CHAMPAGNE with KEVIN DURANT and STEPH CURRY. Back to LeBron. LEBRON J.R. does like a party. VAN GUNDY I have to ask about your future in Cleveland. Are you optimistic that…

1 min.

WHAT THE PROCESS FOR TAKING GRASSHOPPERS FROM MEXICAN FIELDS TO MARINERS HOME GAMES WHERE OAXACA, MEXICO, TO SAFECO FIELD, SEATTLE The taste and texture are familiar, crunchy with citrus notes and a hint of chili—and have Mariners fans saying mmm, mmm, grasshoppers. But this local favorite, called chapulines (cha-poo-LEE-ness), travels more than 3,000 miles from a state in central Mexico famous for the finger food. Farmers in Oaxaca rise before dawn to hunt grasshoppers, which are easier to catch in the morning (very deep sleepers). The little buggers are boiled, toasted and seasoned by Inalim, Mexico’s only licensed exporter of grasshoppers, then shipped to Poquitos, a restaurant near Safeco. There, they are heated, seasoned again and sent to the stadium. By the end of the Mariners’ first home series last season, when…

16 min.
the second act of a. j. hinch

George Springer had snagged thousands of baseballs out of the air through his 28 years, most without a thought, but he had never caught one that possessed such power. Catching this ball—a lazy, unambitious sigh off the bat of the Yankees’ Greg Bird—required conscious effort. As soon as it landed in Springer’s glove, ending the American League Championship Series, the calculus changed: Now, what to do with it? He jammed it into his pocket and started to run toward the pitcher’s mound, where everyone associated with the Astros was about to meet. But this baseball, bouncing with every step, was the heaviest 5¼ ounces he could ever imagine. This baseball carried responsibility. It was tempting but hubristic to keep it for himself. It would be cool to have, but what had he…